Saturday, August 9, 2008

today was brought to you by the letter A

Today I sold my ever first farm-raised animals. Two angora does went off to their new home upstate. Thanks to the sale, I was able to put some gas in my tank (something usually reserved for errands, sheep-related activities, and driving to work.) But since we had a little pocket money we went on a road trip.

We started in Arlington, the closest Vermont town to my cabin. Arlington was having “Norman Days” a kind of street festival in honor of Rockwell - with tag sales (Vermonter for yard sale) and local crafts. While walking around the spinner’s stands and fried dough booths, I bought a beautiful hand-thrown mug from a local potter (also on the bunnies.)

Jazz and Annie loved the street fest. That was until they met a giant Newfoundland, who greeted Jazz by gently placing his slobbery mouth directly on top of his head. Jazz was revolted, and snapped his head away from the Newf with a soggy head and wet ears. He looked up at me for help, utterly disgusted. Annie seemed ambivalent to the slobber accumulating on her face as the lug kissed her. That pretty much sums up my dogs.

After Arlington, we crossed over the state line to New York and visited Gardenworks, a localvore’s dream. Therein was everything from handmade mustard to sheep cheese. I splurged and bought a hand-felted alpaca wool blanket. It was five feet tall and sang me a tune of $18, by god a steal. While checking out the women at the counter told me the local farmer who provided the wool I was holding was hosting an open house. I love living in farm country.

We continued our tour home, driving from West Hebron to Cambridge and then back up 313 to the farmstead. Annie hung out the front window like she does; two elbows over the edge of the door, her lips flapping in the wind. Jazz laid sphinx like in the back seat, contemplating whatever it is he contemplates.

After our touring was done, I called a local feed store in Shusan. It’s not really a feed store as much as it is an old barn where a sweet couple sells everything from dairy cow starter to chicken scratch. I asked if there were open for business since they keep odd hours. They were. I drove over and filled the back of the Subaru with 175 pounds of feed. Again. Thanks to the pair of angoras.

What money was left from the bunnies went into the Border collie fund, a small mug that I put an extra five or ten bucks into every week. There’s barely anything in it, but just placing money in the jar makes me feel like I’m working towards my lanolin-soaked destiny. Which feels good.

Tomorrow night (I think) VPR is holding a star gazing event. You take your radio out with a blanket to your chosen destination, and listen to a local public radio host talk about what’s overhead. All over the region random Vermonters will be doing this. This might beat Chicago Public Radio’s Thanksgiving ‘Poultry Slam’ as my favorite radio event of the year. I like good television as much as the next American, but you can’t take Everyone Loves Raymond to a dark hillside with your dogs and stare at stars.


Blogger Mama Pea said...

Hi, Jenna -

First of all, congrats on the sale of the pair of angora bunnies. You're on your way to becoming a sustainable homesteader, something we all strive for!

"Living alone" is not a bad thing (certainly being alone is much different than being lonely), but you deserve a LOT of credit for doing all that you do without that second helping hand. How many times have I commented to my better half, "How do you suppose those Norwegian bachelor farmers did this by themselves?"

Your hopes, dreams and aspirations are inspiring. I admire your gumption to make things happen. Keep on with your postings of every day happenings. I really enjoy reading them.

Mama Pea

August 10, 2008 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Wagner said...

And I thank God for it. One more show with a wishy-washy, irresponsible, foolish leading masculine figure and I don't know what I'll do.

Did you know I watched that show for a year before I understood he had kids?! What kind of parent is that!

October 6, 2009 at 2:59 PM  

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